Artificial body, artificial mind?

OK, let me say that in terms of what I’m considering, this is purely in the realms of fantasy at this time. Maybe it will be possible in decades to come, but for now…

When you mention artificial intelligence (AI) to people, it seems to be a love, or hate issue. Some people see it as a massive benefit for all the good it will be able to do, both in a practical, and assistance sense. Others see it as something sinister, controlling, and big brother like. Oh fine, a robot wannabee submissive like me might (alright, would) enjoy being controlled by technology, but lets consider other matters.

The other artificial thing that people are busily trying to create, currently with limited success, is artificial bodies. For disabled people like myself, where it gets interesting would be some combination of both items. Just imagine if people could literally be given a new artificial body, rather than their disabled human one, wouldnt it be tempting to do a swap? I know, for me, a nice chrome robot body would be heaven, but lets assume that in the future, its possible for people to transfer to a human looking, but artificial body, how many disabled people would be tempted? I guess not all, but some would, I’m sure.

As to the AI side of things, I suspect how far that went would make people decide how far to go. If its a literal download of your own mind, into an artificial body, its going to be preferable to one that is purely AI, even if the ‘personality’ is based on yourself? But lets say its a combination thing, it is you, but you need an element of AI, for the artificial body to function, hmm?

I know, me, I’d love the full robot life, but I’m probably in a class of one on that, lol!

But just think, OK, its only a replica of yourself, but no pain issues, full mobility, and all that brings, well? Yes, I know, if only I could, even more so as my body continues to fail of its own accord.

So yes, AI has good points, it has bad points, but overall, what do you think?

Right, video time. Have you ever wondered what a sound check is like, at a pop concert. Well, this is your chance. It does mean you dont get the full song, but you get to see behind the scenes stuff. Besides which, its Seattle, its black and white, so…

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Should have stayed home yesterday?

Well, if I mention this is the 77th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbour, and the video relates to the climax of said event, you might have worked out what it is already?

No, I’m not going to bore you, or otherwise by going through the events of that fateful day, I could only copy large chunks of Wikipedia and the like if I did that anyway. So yes, if you want that, go visit Wikipedia. What I’m going to tell you is a side story to the event, which I only know about thanks to ESPN.

In those days, when the college football regular season ended, that was pretty much it, get on with the awards, and wait for the next season. There were a few bowls of history, like the Rose Bowl, but nothing like the 39 we are having this year! Part of that was down to the fact that whereas now, a team from California can get to the East Coast in a few hours, back then you were talking several days, by train!

So, in those days, the selection of, and awarding of the Heisman Trophy, to the best player of the year wasnt some massively hyped TV event, because most people didnt have TV! So, by the beginning of December 1941, it was already announced that the winner of said award was Bruce Smith, a running back from Minnesota. Therefore on the 5th December 1941, he set out for New York, to receive the award, 2 days later. He had his acceptance speech prepared before he reached New York, on the morning of the 7th December, when he heard the news about Pearl Harbour, and the inevitability that the US was going to war with Japan.

So basically, the speech got a total rewrite, and was squeezed into a radio presentation on the 9th December, shortly before Roosevelt made it official, that America was now at war with Japan. The rest, as they say, for the next 4 years or so, is written in history. Bruce Smith clearly was one of the fortunate ones who survived the war, given that the short documentary included his 2 sons. Sadly, many millions didnt, on all sides.

Of course, this war ended with a first. Not necessarily a good first, but a first, all the same. Yes, thats right, the 2 nuclear warheads dropped on Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, that finally forced Japan into surrender.

Smith finally did get to play in the NFL after the war, for Green Bay, and the Los Angeles Rams, but much of his career was lost to the war. Also sadly, he didnt have a long life, dying at the age of 47 from cancer, in the days long before all the modern treatments for that ghastly disease.

So yes, on this day, let us remember all those brave people that died at Pearl Harbour on that fateful day, in the war that followed, but lets also remember the guy whose life was changed while travelling on a train.

OK, the video is the one I hope you’ve worked out. A live version from 2016, rather than the regular video, which I’ve probably used before

And so this is December

I bet everyone thinks they know the video already, and you’re wrong! 😛

To be fair, it is only 3 weeks to Christmas, and I guess Eric did at least wait until December to do it, but yes, the Christmas Decorations went up here today. To also be fair, a house just down the road from us had done theirs between Thursday (previous day I’d been out after dark), and last night, and their display wouldnt look out of place in Leicester Square, or on Broadway! Excessive, absolutely!

I know, I’m an old grump, but I remember the days (yes, I really am that old) when the tree, and lights would only go up a week, or less before the big event. Well, in our hot ouse they did, anyway! Me, when I lived on my own, no tree, beyond a tiny, token one on the table, and I mean a few inches high at most. I know, but no children, no family, no bother, lol!

Here, I can live with it, but dont tell Eric I said that, lol, as he never reads these, he will never know otherwise.

One thing I havent done in years, is the office politics of who you give Christmas cards to, and who you dont. I take the easy option, I just dont do any! Given there are few others I’d need to get a card for, that saves me a lot of time! But no, I’m not quite Scrooge material just yet, I will do my bit, but only as much as I have to, lol!

Oh fine, I’ll enjoy the break from work at Christmas, to ease the poor damaged back, but all the hype, I can happily live without. Did someone mention humbug? 😉 Oh fine, if Santa wants to bring me a full body bodysuit (I need to be able to see, beyond that the more cover the better), ideally thermal, though heated would be nicer, I might get more in the Christmas spirit, but until then…

Or a flying saucer, so that I dont have to rely on public transport, maybe? Yes, I would love a good alien suit if someone gets me that, but I’m sure I could find one for myself…? 😉

OK, fine, the video. No, not John Lennon, but Brenda Lee. Well, strictly, one of the cats is more into sleeping around the Christmas Tree, but close enough?

Divine interference?

Alright, warning, this may not mean a lot to anyone other than US readers, but anyway… Seeing they are the vast bulk of my readers going by the stats…

Most championships are decided by merit. Either the team that wins the most games against the others teams in their league, or in their continent, wins the title, or they end up with a series of knock out deciders to settle the matter. Then you get College Football (Gridiron type, for any non US readers still going) where there are about 12 top rank divisions (including a supposed Big 5), plus some independents who dont play in any other divisions, of which 4 teams go to the playoffs.

Yes, thats right, the maths dont add up well, do they?

Earlier this weekend, all of the championship games got played. One of the supposed top 4 isnt in a division, so they just rested up. Even more complex, the ‘number 1’ team were playing the ‘number 4’ team, as both play in same conference!

Lurking outside of all this, sitting at number 5 going into the weekend, were Oklahoma. Yes, I know, I support Kansas State, and Kate supports Oklahoma State, both in the same conference, so I should hate them, right? Thing is, Oklahoma would be Clara Johnson’s team I suspect, as its the nearest University to where she was born, though she certainly never went there! Given she was moving to LA, from Texas at the age of 20, thats a safe bet! But anyway…

Last night, I watched Oklahoma beat Texas 39-27, getting revenge for their only defeat this season. Thing is, unless one of the top 4 drops out, they cant make the play off. So thank you, I thought, for Alabama (No 1) playing Georgia (no 4), as given logic, the latter should lose, drop down the rankings, only… when I went to bed last night, Georgia were winning 28-14. And yes, that would drop Alabama down the rankings, but probably not to No 5, and let Oklahoma in.

Apparently, with 6 minutes to go, that was still the score. The final score, you ask? 35-28 to Alabama! Now whether this was Alabama inspiration, yet another Georgia meltdown, or someone up in heaven intervening to let her local university get to the playoffs, who knows? My money is on that it wasnt the latter, but it would be funny to think so, wouldnt it?

No, I know, sport is just crazy!

Right, video time. Well given it feels like heaven may have played a part in events, how about this?

Do leave me this way?

One of the things I’ve done on a semi regular basis, is introduce blog readers to stories I’ve read recently, written by other people. Now, to be fair, if people want to read any of my stuff they’re free at https://mcstories.com/Authors/Robotunit8.html or for those feeling kind, there are a few that earn me money at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/merrybrooks as well.

But what I’ve never done here, is post something that isnt going to appear at either place, as its too short for the former, and not good enough for the latter! Oh yes, and way too short! So, to get it more than a tiny audience (maybe?), I’m going to post it here.

Right, to fill you in on details. The challenge behind this was a person of mature years (ideal for me), on their birthday, and surprise events surrounding it. I ended up coming up with this piece, in about 90 minutes, a fortnight ago. Some of it is autobiographical, some of it bares a vague resemblance to me, and some of it is pure fiction, and no, I’m not telling you which is which! 😛 As to which ending she chose, I’ll leave that decision to you!

Right, warning time, its not erotic, but shock horror, there is definitely mind control involved. There is also a very cheeky fairy godmother, but anyway…so be warned before reading!

Yeah, I know, the retirement age for women in UK is no longer 60 (will be 66 when I finally retire, health permitting I last that long), but it works better for this

Looking Back At Life

So this was it, after a long career, working, and acting, the big day had come, retirement. Well, strictly retirement related to work, but given that my health was beginning to go, it probably was time to call retirement on the acting front too, as I was no longer as active as she used to be. The big six-oh, and all that.

The early years were all about acting. From the age of 8, I’d appeared in plays, first at school, and then in drama groups, until I left college, and then practicality kicked in. I was a decent enough actress, but not one that was ever going to make it big in the movies, or unless I struck lucky, on TV even.

So, in my early twenties, I took the decision to get a boring day job, maybe work with a few amateur dramatic groups and the like, and just get on with life. I did just that, and at 30, surprising myself, and most definitely shockingly for my mother, I didnt settle down with my ‘little man’, and produce several children, I settled down with my ‘little woman’ and we didnt bother with kids, much to my mother’s disgust.

For about 15 years or so, when work permitted, I appeared on more stages than Wells Fargo. None of them glamorous, well, apart from one, maybe, but I worked, steadily. Most of the directors liked my attitude, though I never got to play leads, but the main supporting role (female) seemed to be my designated part.

Then I split up with my ‘little woman’, moved away, and lost touch with the groups that I’d worked for, over the years. My new life, and job made doing shows a bit more complex, but I did a few more, before deciding it wasnt really practical, and settling for watching the odd show, and not taking part. Some remembered me, for a couple of perfect cameo parts that I could do, but then I moved away again, and unofficially called it a day on my acting career.

Not that I’d wanted to, but the hassle (especially as I was no longer perfect for younger parts) of finding a new group local enough to me, that I could get on with the people there, and everything else, I didnt bother. But that didnt mean the ambition went away.

So when, at the grand old age of 59, someone had mentioned to me about helping out at festivals locally, in Blackpool, I asked myself whether I wanted to bother. Then someone mentioned it was period dress, playing a flapper, so I bit the bullet, and went for it. And yes, loved doing it. No lines to learn, just ad lib, and one night only. So I did more, and will probably do more, but actual acting, learning a script, and all that, probably not. In fact, I was due to do another festival at the end of the week, though I wasnt sure quite how much of a glamor kitten I could be at 60, but it was fun, and for one weekend only, so…

“Happy Birthday!”, I heard a voice say from somewhere. I looked up, initially couldnt see anyone, so looked down again, assuming it was someone on the TV that I had on in the background.

“Happy Birthday!”, the voice repeated, “Over here, by the window.”

I looked in that direction, and could see something glimmering in front of the window. About 6 inches tall, with wings.

“Who are you?” she asked.

“Your Fairy Godmother.” was the answer.

When I finished laughing, I asked the same question, and got the same answer.

“So why are you here, on my birthday, when no one else is?”

“Well, this is actually Thursday, your retirement day, but your birthday isnt until Saturday!” the fairy replied, pointing out her tiny tongue.

“Fine, so why are you here?”

“To give you, what I believe they call your birthday gift.”

“Seriously?”

“Very seriously. You always wanted to make it as an actress, but it never really happened, did it?”

“No, it didnt. Not likely to happen now, is it, at my age?”

The fairy looked at her coyly, and said “And what age would that be, my dear?”

“Why, 60 of course, and I look it!”

“Tried looking in the mirror recently?” she asked me, and winked.

“I prefer not to, but fine…” I responded, “Oh good grief! What have you done to me, I look about 20?”

“22 actually, the year you left college. Fancy trying that acting career again?”

I laughed, “Whats the point? Small parts, small productions, and struggling from week to week with money? I might as well just retire gracefully, do a few fun jobs, and draw my pension.”

“Suppose I ensured you got more than small parts, ‘convinced’ a few people to give you big parts, big break, and all that?”

I laughed, “How do you plan to do all that?”

She just grinned, “Oh, thats easy, a bit of magic, and a bit of mind control, and I’ll make a star of you yet.”

I finally stopped laughing, and asked her, “What if I say no?”

She smiled, “No issue at all, I’ll just mind control you too.” She waved a wand in my direction, and then… “See?”

And reader, she did! And just to spite me, or I assumed that was the case, all the parts she got me for 5 years involved me being hypnotized, mind controlled, or turned into the thrall of a vampire, or the like. Fine, the last was fun, though my new cute girlfriend wasnt quite convinced when I felt the need to bite her neck while filming that role. Even more so when later rumors suggested the vampire might not have been acting the part, but anyway… There may not have been a whole ton of roles, but I was a star in the genre, as I acted it so well (didnt feel like acting, it felt real), that I earned more than enough to live comfortably, until…

I woke up in the morning, after a good night of sleep, to find myself alone in my bed, but not on my own in the room. Yes, that fairy was there again, grinning at me.

“So how was that? Ready to officially retire?” she asked.

I looked in the mirror, I was old again.

“So how old am I now?” I asked her.

“65. Back to the age on your birth certificate, and the day you can officially draw your State Pension now, not just your work one.”

“My girlfriend?”

“Dont worry, she has fond memories of you, but accepts that you had to move to Hollywood, as the big studios demanded, and she didnt want to leave her home town.”

“Clever!”

“I know!” the fairy grinned. “So, one last choice before I leave you, do you want to stay here, and grow old gracefully, or do you want to go to Hollywood, as the fresh new movie star?”

“Well, lets see…”

Oh, and what is more, you still get a video too. This is from a 2004 BBC Series set in Blackpool, which unfortunately I never saw at the time. Not that Blackpool was anything special as a place to me at the time, but when it showed, I was in a job involving weird shifts, so getting into a series would have been out of the question. But fine, now, it would be fun to see, as I would know so many of the locations. Just to add, if by the vaguest miracle, David Tennant sees this (yeah, I know…), I will be working in Blackpool from March 15th to 17th at the film festival, and I’d love the chance to swoon at him there. Especially on the Saturday, which will be my birthday! I also have a wonderful Aussie friend who might turn up if she knew David Morrisey, if she knew he would be there. She might anyway, because the thought of me, in a chorus girl outfit might yet tempt her, maybe? 😉 Yes, Nancy, sorry, Diane, I mean you!

There are actually 23 songs in the series ‘sang’ by the cast, all on You Tube, if you want to find them! 😉

 

How true is this?

Fine, lets go with some mind control based amusement here tonight. Its fair to say that this appealed to me more than it would to some, because I’ve been an actress, I’ve been there, and seen chaos (and events) like this in my career. That is to say I’ve seen actresses who behave like these dancers, without the ‘aid’ of being mind controlled. I dont remember ever being like this, but fine, the memories of some senior school play groups might be vague!

https://mcstories.com/Backstage/index.html

Put it this way, I’ve seen prop rooms that make this one seem well organised, lol! And fine, I’ve seen stage hands that fancied an actress, and werent too subtle about showing it, but anyway… Mind, whether I ever cast eyes over a fellow actor, or actress, I’m not going to say! 😛

Fine, this is a ballet group, not an amateur dramatic theatre production, but in truth, in the sense of this, they’re pretty much interchangeable! I would say its remarkable as to how well its written, but fine, I know the author is one of the top people at one of the studios producing mind control movies, so probably judging by what she’s seen, this might even be pretty tame stuff?

Even if I could remember names from the dim, distant past who carried on like this, which I dont, I wouldnt name them, in case they did happen to be around, and read this.

But yes, anyone in the acting, or seemingly, dancing industry (Oh, Clara Johnson…) who hasnt seen something a bit like this, well, you’ve had a quiet, and shaded life,  lol!

OK, video time. Well, it has to be some dancing, it has to include Clara Johnson, and it has to be a Busby Berkeley choreography, on what would have been his 123rd birthday. You have to survive the first 50 seconds or so, but after that, pure dance delight

Christmas time, dont let the Physio end!

To be honest, in an ideal world, I’d probably ignore the build up to Christmas for as long a period of time as I could, but today was the day I had to accept it was coming soon.

Why? Simple! Currently I have a session of Physiotherapy, every 4 weeks, on a Tuesday. So, given I had one today, there is one small snag with booking the next one for 4 weeks time, it is the 25th day, of the 12th month, otherwise known as Christmas Day! And 5 weeks from now is New Years Day, so it will now be 6 weeks before I can go again, eek!

In truth, at this moment, I see this as less of an issue than I did before discovering the benefits of an hour in a flotation tank! Yes, its official, my back is better now than its been for 15 months, but not yet by a dramatic amount, but maybe its getting there? Not going to ever be right, I’m sure, but apparently I have more mobility in my spine now than I’ve had since it fractured. As I say, baby steps at this point, but given thats the official Physio view, oh wow!

And yes, guilty, I only did it so quickly because of the ‘weirdness’ factor, but look at the old girl now! No, I dont know how, and neither does the Physio, but neither of us really care, in truth. And yes, I have 2 more session in the ‘brainwashing pod’ planned before Christmas, which will help too.

But yes, depressingly, this was the first day I had to really acknowledge the coming of Christmas, ah well…

Right, the first, but almost certainly not the last Christmas music video of the season. Not one of the golden age classics from the 70’s, something far more recent in fact. But it has that golden age feel, so…